5 Reasons to Give Up The Ghost of Relationships That Could Have Been


Relationships can be complicated.

You meet someone when you’re young, maybe even in high school or college, and you feel a spark. It’s as sudden as herpes and almost as permanent. In a minute this stranger becomes a person that automatically ‘gets you’. It’s rare to find and impossible to forget, but somehow the universe keeps you apart for one reason or another, which only gets your panties further into a twist.

Maybe that person is dating someone else. Maybe you go to school in two different countries. Maybe they are in the military or you are about to start a job on the other side of the world. You feel like you never really had a proper chance, and you harbor fantasies as to what your proper chance might have looked like. So you do what anyone would: you keep in touch, waiting until the time is right to give things a go.

This may go on for years. It might be as casual as having dinner every six months or talking on the phone once in a blue moon. It might be as involved as having a full-blown long-distance relationship, complete with breaks, pauses, full-on break-ups and reconciliations. As the dance continues over time, things heat and cool as often as the Earth’s crust.

Which begs the question: How do you know when it’s really over? Well, I’ll tell you how….

Without further ado, I give you Amanda Hanna’s 5 Reasons to give up the ghost of relationships that could have been:

  1. When it becomes clear that one or both of you have changed into a completely different person. Don’t ignore the insensitive comments or snide remarks—it is entirely possibly that the person you once cared about has been replaced with a drunker, angrier asshole. I’ve known people who excuse the poor treatment they received from their partners because ‘back in the day’ things were different. Love, like everything else, is not about what you’ve done for me before, but rather: what you’ve done for me lately. Ask yourself if your partner is kind to you? Do they respect you? Do you still share the same values, morals and interests? These are the questions that may lead you to an answer on whether the relationship has a chance or is really over.
  1. You’re in love but it’s likely you will never live in the same place: Kim Kardashian had to learn this one the hard way. There is no use continuing a relationship with a person when there is no hope of living in the same place. Long distance relationships can be perfect for those with busy careers or school schedules. However, at some point you have to own up to the fact that having a boring routine truly solidifies your relationship. It is no longer a fun break from you’re real life: it has to become your real life. To (horrendously) misquote Tevia from ‘Fiddler on the Roof’, “a bird may love a fish, but where would they live?” If you are not willing to re-locate for your love, then what’s the point?
  1. When the woman says it’s over: If you are in a heterosexual or lesbian relationship, it’s over when the woman says so. Women are notorious for letting things go on far longer than necessary. You know when she finally walks away there is absolutely nothing that can be done. There is a flipside to this sign for men who date men. Gay men: it may never really be over for you. Men are always down to re-visit a bad relationship, if only for the good sex.
  1. When your love has a baby with someone else: There are rare cases when this isn’t a deal breaker, but for most, this is the end of the love affair. If your love getting married didn’t deter you, this certainly will. Your love has changed into someone’s dad or mom. They are no longer the carefree, available, fun-loving person you once knew. They are stressed-the-F-out, and hopelessly obsessed with a tiny, screaming, pooping tyrant. Or they are the opposite: so scared that they are banging on your door, begging you to take them back! Either way, they are not the same and you begin to see them, after all these years, for who they really are. That’s when you realize there is no going back. The road has forked on your relationship and you’ve chosen opposite paths.
  1. When it turns out to be all in your head: The moment you met is forever burned into your dreams. You re-play it over and over, like a giggling schoolgirl, night after night for years. Even a decade later it gives you goosebumps, but for some reason, you’ve received no reciprocation. Sure, you may run into each other from time to time, but your love doesn’t seem to treat you any differently from any other old acquaintance. It may be time to face facts: you were a giggling schoolgirl. This entire affair was all in your head. It’s time to let it go.

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